Healthy sleep helps children and teens learn in the classroom and excel in sports and extracurricular activities. To highlight the importance of healthy sleep for students, the AASM is holding the first-ever Student Sleep Health Week, slated for September 14-20, 2020.

As families prepare for students to go back to school, it’s the ideal time to get back on track with healthy sleep habits. Student Sleep Health Week is an opportunity to reset sleep routines and set your family up for a successful year.

When students get the sleep they need, it has a positive impact in the classroom. However, more than half of American parents say their children or teens are not getting enough sleep, according to a new survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).

The survey highlighted insights surrounding student sleep health, including:

  • Students do not get enough sleep on school nights. More than half of parents (57%) with school-age children say that they have a child or teen who does not get enough sleep on school nights.
  • There are many barriers to students getting healthy sleep. According to 90% of parents, homework and early school start times are the top culprits impacting students’ sleep on school nights.
  • COVID-19 is impacting sleep. Four out of 10 parents acknowledge that their children’s bedtime and/or waketime consistency were affected by remote learning last spring.
  • Sleep has an impact on students’ overall health and well-being. Nine out of 10 parents acknowledge that sleep impacts their children’s mood, and 93% understand its correlation to performance in school.

Sleep is one of the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle, along with nutrition and exercise. It is critical to the health and well-being of students of all ages.

Students who get the recommended hours of sleep regularly tend to experience better outcomes, including improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life, and mental and physical health. Healthy sleep also helps students:

  • Excel in the classroom by maximizing attention, memory and learning abilities
  • Perform better in sports by being faster, stronger and more accurate
  • Feel their best and have a more optimistic attitude toward life
  • Look their best and maintain a healthy weight
  • Have fun and enjoy life by making better decisions and staying safe

No matter where classes are held this school year — whether in-person, online or in a hybrid format — it is important that students maintain a consistent sleep schedule to excel in both their studies and activities.